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Current Year Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

CAMH builds on radioimaging legacy with creation of the Azrieli Centre for Neuro-Radiochemistry

TORONTO, Nov. 1, 2017 - The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is home to Canada's first positron emission tomography (PET) centre dedicated to mental illness research, and has a long-standing track record of pioneering new brain imaging agents. CAMH's legacy in this field will now be powered through the creation of a new research centre announced this morning, the Azrieli Centre for Neuro-Radiochemistry.

Thanks to a transformational $11-million gift from the Azrieli Foundation, CAMH welcomes Dr. Neil Vasdev as the inaugural Director of the Azrieli Centre for Neuro-Radiochemistry. 

Dr. neil Vasdev speaking during announcement of Azrieli Centre
Dr. Neil Vasdev speaking during announcement of Azrieli Centre for Neuro-Radiochemistry.

The announcement was made at an event today by Dr. Catherine Zahn, CAMH President and CEO, alongside Dr. Trevor Young, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Dr. Neil Vasdev and the Azrieli Foundation.

The Centre will work toward creating new radiolabeled chemicals to provide a more accurate and complete understanding of several mental illnesses, as well as to aid in the development of new treatments and improve understanding  as to why some drugs work better for certain patients.

"Mental health is brain health and, in order to truly understand the brain, we need new imaging techniques. Scientists will now be able to look in the brain and explore non-traditional approaches for drugs and treatments. We are thrilled to enable this exciting work," said Naomi Azrieli, Chair and CEO, the Azrieli Foundation.

Dr. Vasdev most recently served as the Director of Radiochemistry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology at Harvard Medical School.

"Imagine being able to understand the origins of mental illness by visualizing the function of brain cells, their connections and chemicals – and monitoring changes with treatments and supports. Thanks to this gift from the Azrieli Foundation, CAMH will advance research that's making this possible," said CAMH's Dr. Catherine Zahn.

The Azrieli Centre for Neuro-Radiochemistry, located at 250 College Street, will be housed within CAMH's Research Imaging Centre. It will initially employ a research staff of 10, in partnership with additional clinical-research staff of approximately 100, all working toward the next set of breakthroughs in brain science and neuropsychiatry.

About The Azrieli Foundation

For 25 years, the Azrieli Foundation has funded institutions as well as operated programs on the ground. The Foundation supports scientific and medical research, higher education, Holocaust education, youth empowerment and school perseverance, music and the arts, architecture, and quality of life initiatives for people with developmental disabilities. www.azrielifoundation.org

About CAMH

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital and a world leading research centre in this field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental illness and addiction. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please follow @CAMHnews and @CAMHResearch on Twitter.

For further information:

For interview and tour opportunities, please contact:

Karen Cleveland
Senior Manager, Communications, CAMH Foundation
Karen.Cleveland@camh.ca / 416.729.8402

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